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Flight Instructor Story: Phil

Alexandra O'Loughlin16 May 2016 Posted in: flight instructor training

We spoke to FTA's Chief Flight Instructor, to find out a little bit more about his career in aviation, and what being a flight instructor at FTA means to him.

What is your first memory in an airplane?

First memory in an aircraft was in a PA28 from Goodwood on a sightseeing flight, I was probably 12.

What was your most challenging part of becoming a pilot?

I found the theory aspect of the course was the most challenging, second to that was funding it!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say to my younger self to take any opportunity that is presented to you, even if it may not seem right at the time, as you never know where it will take you.

How long have you been flying for?

I have been flying for 8 years – my first lesson was with FTA in April 2007.

What is your favourite aircraft?

My favourite aircraft is the P51 Mustang. It looks and sounds great and is incredibly powerful!

What is your favourite flying career moment?

My favourite flying career moment was my first flight in a twin engine aircraft.

What do you enjoy most about being an instructor with FTA?

I enjoy the camaraderie with colleagues and developing very good pilots from a blank canvas.

What is your best piece of advice for aspiring pilots?

My best piece of advice would be that flight training needs all of your commitment, for most people it is no more than 2 years which will go incredibly quickly, so put all of your effort into it from day 1 until the very end and the rewards will be obvious.

What qualities shine through with your best students?

Determination, capacity, captaincy and being able to adapt to changing conditions.

What part of the course process gives you the most satisfaction – a new batch of cadets starting or seeing them graduate at the end?

The most satisfying part of the course is when I go to watch a pair of students on their MCC course once they have completed all of the flight training, and seeing how we have taken someone with zero experience to operate a complex aircraft as part of a professional crew.

What has been your favourite aircraft to fly?

The DA42, simply down to it’s modern systems – and it is a great stepping stone from the DA40 into something larger!

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